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Iraq forces push deep inside Mosul, face fierce resistance

Al Hamdaniyah - Iraqi forces battled jihadists deep inside Mosul Wednesday, edging closer to the River Tigris that divides the city and looking for a breakthrough in the seven-week-old offensive.

BBC under investigation for profile of new Thai king

Bangkok - Thai authorities are investigating BBC over a Thai-language profile of the nation's new king, officials said Thursday, after the article outraged ultra-royalists in a country where criticism of the monarchy is outlawed.

Syria army takes all of Aleppo Old City: monitor

Alep - Syrian government forces control all of Aleppo's historic Old City after rebel fighters withdrew in the face of army advances overnight, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday.

Nigeria's Boko Haram battle stalls as population starves

Kano - Nigeria's military campaign against Boko Haram Islamists is increasingly bogged down as it confronts suicide attacks, looting and indiscriminate slaughter while the UN warns the affected region faces the "largest crisis in Africa".

British lord says Brexit 'stupidity' should not block child refugees

London - A member of Britain's House of Lords rescued from the Nazis when he was six years old, told AFP the anti-immigrant sentiment behind Brexit should not prevent child migrants being welcomed to Britain.

40 missing after ship sinks off Yemen

Aden - Around 40 people were missing off the Yemeni island of Socotra on Wednesday after a cargo vessel carrying islanders home from the mainland sank in the Indian Ocean, authorities said.

Weakened Angela Merkel embarks on tough election campaign

Essen - Angela Merkel's conservatives gave her an 11-minute standing ovation after handing her another term as party chief but also issued a warning in re-electing her with the worst score since she became German chancellor.

Britain will help Gulf 'push back' against Iran aggression: PM

London - Britain will help Gulf states "push back" against aggressive regional actions by Iran, Prime Minister Theresa May told the Gulf Cooperation Council in Bahrain on Wednesday in a televised address.

Paris chokes under worst winter air pollution in decade

Paris - Paris choked Wednesday under its worst winter pollution in a decade, with commuters enjoying free public transport and half of the cars ordered off the road in an effort clear the air.

Conservative Serbia becomes unlikely sex change centre

Belgrade - In a country where Gay Pride parades require massive security and almost half the citizens think homosexuality is a disease, Serbia is drawing patients from around the world seeking sex change operations to become men.

Microsoft thinks search boxes will disappear within ten years

Microsoft has published a list of major tech changes its researchers expect to see in the next ten years. They range from improved language translators and advances in deep learning to the prediction that traditional app search boxes will become obsolete.

Syria rebels call for Aleppo truce, civilian evacuation

Aleppo - Syrian rebels in Aleppo city called Wednesday for an immediate five-day truce and the evacuation of civilians to other opposition-held territory in the northern province, a statement said.

Samsung planning to ditch the headphone jack with the Galaxy S8

Samsung is planning to remove the headphone jack from its upcoming Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone, according to a report today. The company will follow Apple in making the controversial move, locking out users of "legacy" earphones.

New Keurig-compatible pods give whole new meaning to coffee pot

Many of us can't properly start our day without that first cup of coffee. But for those who also need a little kick with their morning cup of Joe, BrewBudz has got you covered with their new Keurig-compatible coffee pods with added cannabis flower.

PM Najib destroying Malaysia, stoking racial tensions: Mahathir

Putrajaya - Malaysian ruling party icon Mahathir Mohamad has accused current leader Najib Razak of "destroying" the country by clinging to power despite a corruption scandal, and vowed to campaign vigorously for the opposition in coming elections.

UN prosecutors urge life term for 'Butcher of Bosnia'

Den Haag - Prosecutors urged UN judges on Wednesday to jail Ratko Mladic for life, accusing the former Serb commander of a ruthless campaign of ethnic cleansing to create a Greater Serbia in the 1990s Balkans wars."It would be...

India wants to create a waterway twice as long as the Nile River

New Delhi - If India's prime minister, Narendra Modi has his way, work will soon begin on a project that would create the world's longest river. The project would link 30 rivers with the construction of 30 canals and 3,000 small and large reservoirs.

Donald Trump is Time magazine's 2016 'Person of the Year'

New York - Time magazine on Wednesday named Donald Trump its "Person of the Year" for 2016 for his stunning upset election victory that rewrote the rules of politics, delivering him to the helm of a divided America.

Pakistan plane carrying 47 crashes, reportedly on fire

Islamabad - A Pakistani plane carrying 47 people crashed Wednesday in the mountainous north of the country and burst into flames, police and aviation authorities said.

Aides to Korean 'Rasputin' testify to her power

Seoul - Friends and associates of the woman at the heart of a corruption scandal engulfing South Korean President Park Geun-Hye told a hearing Wednesday her influence extended to everything from Park's wardrobe to senior appointments.
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